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EXCLUSIVE: New Details & Box Art Revealed – Axis & Allies & Zombies

EXCLUSIVE: New Details & Box Art Revealed – Axis & Allies & Zombies

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Avalon Hill’s Axis & Allies is a much-beloved game, having garnered a loyal fan following over the decades the game has been available. It’s had multiple print runs and a number of editions. It established itself as a meaty, history-steeped but abstracted gaming experience that could fill a table up and take an entire weekend to complete.

That was, until, the undead invaded. I spoke with Shelly Mazzanoble (brand manager of Avalon Hill) and Scott Van Essen (Axis & Allies & Zombies game designer) to talk about the upcoming title, Axis & Allies & Zombies.

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“It’s all Scott’s fault,” Shelly said to start our conversation off. She was referring to why there were zombies in the world of Axis & Allies. Scott’s excitement for the new game was very clear through our conversation. He, however, didn’t want to spill the beans on any narrative tidbits for the gamers who picked up the game, and thus wouldn’t shift blame from himself to any of the national powers.

Given how much zombies have permeated pop culture, from space ships to Jane Austen, it’s easy to write off the introduction of zombies in this storied franchise as a gimmick. But it’s not. Zombies in this franchise add a dynamic and fresh game mechanic that is like trying to harness uncontrolled fire. While its small and contained, it may be useful as it annoys your opponent – when it gets too big to control, it soon endangers everything. It changes the dynamic of a traditional Axis & Allies game, where turtling up in a defensive position or perpetually re-engaging to try to control the same territory is a standard tactical choice. “What I’m most excited about is instead of fighting over the same territory again and again, what happens is those turtles become more and more overrun by zombies and suddenly it’s just too dangerous to fight or even to try just stay there,” Scott explained. “You have to change your plans you have to shift to new fronts and you have to find different ways to attack your opponent because the zombies become this weird invisible map that you need to find a way around.”

For experienced players, Axis & Allies & Zombies promises a game experience that allows you to play a game within shorter period of time but still have that strategic and tactical gaming experience of an A&A game. The mechanics are so familiar that it only takes a one page quick start to get you rolling. Additionally, the game is itself a standalone game, but also an expansion to Axis & Allies 1942 Edition.

For those new to Axis & AlliesAxis & Allies & Zombies was thoughtfully constructed as an entry point. The game is set around 1941, though the game itself contains an introduction scenario that helps introduce the mechanics of A&A set in 1939, to give players a feel for how the game will play in a stripped-down and controlled way.

We’ll have more details as we get approach Axis & Allies & Zombies‘ release in the fall, but for now, you can check out the box art for the game below (click to enlarge).

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Do you play Axis & Allies? If so, tell us how you feel about zombies invading the franchise? Tell us in the comments!

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Image Credits: Avalon Hill

Teri Litorco is a professional fangirl, the author of The Civilized Guide to Tabletop Gaming as well as a YouTuber who makes videos about games with miniatures. Follow her on Twitter, Facebook, and Instagram.

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